Why support for Microsoft Windows 7 is ending

The logo of the Operating System Windows 7

Times are changing as the new year and new decade began with support for Microsoft Windows 7 ending. This means Microsoft’s support for their operating system (OS) that was launched in 2009 stopped on Tuesday 14th January 2020. Now, Microsoft are recommending users leave behind the old OS and upgrade to Windows 10.

Your OS essentially drives all the computers and laptops in your organisation. Despite this, most SMEs in London probably won’t give their chosen OS much thought.

But why does support for Windows 7 ending matter?

There are three reasons:

  • Many businesses are still using this outdated version of Windows 7. This puts them in a vulnerable position as they will be left without access to crucial Microsoft support.
  • Cybersecurity experts are concerned that those Windows 7 users will no longer receive the all-important updates and patches from Microsoft. This keeps their machines, network, confidential data, and customer information safe.
  • This is the perfect opportunity to upgrade your operating system to Windows 10 and reap the business benefits Microsoft’s latest OS delivers.

What should you do about support for Microsoft Windows 7 ending?

If you’re worried about Microsoft support for Windows 7 ending, help is here, so read on.

We’ve put together this article to share why Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7. Moreover, we explain why you should take the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 and discuss the operational benefits of doing so. Below you’ll discover:

What is an operating system and what does it do?

An operating system (OS) – in this case Windows 7 – is the primary software which manages all the hardware and software on your computers. Your OS allows your computers and other devices to communicate with each other, as well as the applications your business relies on.

All your technology, from keyboards, mice, and storage devices, to displays, printers, memory and security rely on your OS.

However, as with all technology, your operating system will start to deteriorate from first use. And eventually, as with Windows 7 – which was launched in 2009 – the software vendor stops supporting it.

Why you must put safety and security first

Software vendors like Microsoft are in a constant back and forth with sophisticated cybercriminal tactics. Unfortunately, hackers will always manage to find new ways to exploit software bugs in their operating systems.

Traditionally, Microsoft will fix the software loopholes with patches, preventing the cybercriminals from entering. But, as the company is no longer supporting Windows 7, those solutions won’t be in place for users.

So, simply if you’re running machines with Windows 7, they will be more vulnerable to viruses and malware. Malicious code can invade, infect, damage, and disable your devices permanently. As a result, this can have a severe impact on your day-to-day operations, and catastrophically on your business’ future.

Cybercriminals can also steal personal and financial data, spy on other users without your knowledge, or lock up your systems until a ransom is paid.

Why even the UK government is concerned

This situation is considered so serious that the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), got involved. The NCSC, which is part of Britain’s intelligence agency GCHQ, warned Windows 7 users not to undertake Internet banking or send emails after Tuesday 14th January 2020. This warning therefore targeted many UK businesses still using the unsupported Windows 7, in particular small to medium-sized businesses.

An NCSC spokesperson said, ‘We would urge those using the software [Windows 7] after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts. They should also consider sending e-mails from a different, supported device.’

So, if you’re still running Windows 7, you’re putting everything your business has worked hard for at risk. This includes your IT infrastructure, devices, network, confidential data and customer information, as well as your reputation.

What should you do with your Windows 7 PCs?

Although, support for Windows 7 has stopped, computers and devices using the old OS will continue to function. However, the main issue we reiterate is that they will become less and less secure. Microsoft will no longer supply you with security updates, fixes, or any product upgrades, rendering its value obsolete.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft is now urging its users to upgrade to Windows 10, their newest and latest operating system. It was launched in 2015 and has been continuously upgraded and improved upon ever since.

In terms of what to do with your old PCs, it is possible to install Windows 10 on them. Nevertheless, industry experts warn that the upgrade won’t be easy, and your systems may not run smoothly afterwards. As a minimum requirement, your PCs must have a 1GHz processor, 16GB of hard drive space and 1GB of RAM memory to run Windows 10. This may be asking a lot of your older PCs, so it may be necessary to purchase new devices.

It’s certainly tempting to cut costs by continuing to use your old machines for as long as possible. But in the long term, this decision doesn’t make commercial or financial sense. For example, the cost of licensing and installing required to upgrade to Windows 10 could run to hundreds of pounds for each of your existing machines. So, why not put that money towards a new device that already has Windows 10 installed? As an added advantage, newer devices will come with a warranty, therefore saving you on the maintenance costs of repairing old ones.

The business benefits of upgrading to Windows 10

The latest version of Windows 10 provides enhanced, built-in security to keep your business safe and secure. This includes firewall and internet protection features to help safeguard against viruses, malware, and ransomware. But that’s not all, as upgrading to Windows 10 opens you up to a whole host of business benefits:

Enjoy consistent operations right across the office

Upgrade to Windows 10 now and every member of your team will be using the same operating system. By having access to the same updated OS, users can more easily switch machines, share documents, and work collaboratively. This facility allows you to maintain consistent communication in your office, boost your efficiency, flexibility, and productivity.

Easier and faster to train staff

Keeping up to date with the latest OS means it’s quicker and smoother for staff to move to new versions as they’re released. As a result, you’ll spend less time and money training people into new IT systems.

It’s good for your business, brand and people

Using the latest operating system sends out a positive message to your existing staff, new recruits, and customers. It shows that you’re a forward-thinking organisation that is ready to invest in the best resources and technologies.

It’s good for your business, brand and people

Upgrading to Windows 10 will hugely increase your device’s response time and capabilities in comparison to the unsupported Windows 7. So, should things go awry, you and your IT service provider will be able to resolve issues swiftly. This will reduce your downtime and staff frustration, therefore maintaining productivity levels.

More productive, more quickly

In this ‘on demand’ world, most people expect their IT to be instantly ready for work. And according to Microsoft, Windows 10 computers start-up is on average 28% faster than older computers. So, you as you can see, a faster start-up time will help your people get to work faster.

Versatile and flexible

Microsoft Windows 10 comes with a range of built-in apps to help meet your unique business needs and drive your teams to work more efficiently.

What’s more, Windows 10 is compatible across a wide range of devices to suit your organisation’s working style. The new OS can run on anywhere from ultra-thin laptops for productivity on the go, to 2-in-1s for sleek presentations, or desktop PCs for traditional office settings.

Save time, save effort

Windows 10 packs in many automated, task saving features too, so you and your team can work fast and efficiently at all times. These include touch screens, digital pens, facial recognition and even the ability to allow users to pause notifications, alerts and sounds. This can let your employees focus on the task at hand without being interrupted.

Extra power and performance for business

There’s also Windows 10 Pro available with enterprise-grade security and enhanced features to help your business do more.

Why it’s time to upgrade your IT, not just your operating system

We strongly recommend upgrading your hardware along with your software. This way you can get all the benefits of Windows 10, plus the advantages of the latest technology. And it will be in the most cost-effective, safe, and secure manner.

If you’re still using Windows 7, chances are you’ve not reviewed your IT, its uses, and your requirements for some time. This means your business has evolved, but your IT hasn’t kept pace, which can only hold back your future development.

For example, with the rise in remote working, we can work anywhere we can access Wi-Fi in London. So, it may be that your business would benefit from the flexibility of using laptops and other mobile devices as opposed to traditional PCs.

Talk to the trusted IT support provider for London

If you’re looking to upgrade your operating system from Windows 7 to Windows 10, or wanting to upgrade your hardware, please reach out to our team today! Our friendly experts can offer you a free, confidential, and no obligation chat to discuss your needs.

With leading customer service ratings for our managed IT service delivery in London, you can have total peace of mind whilst focusing on growing your business. From our stress-free onboarding, to confidently delivering go-live support, we offer a smooth transition through our process.

We’ll start by getting an in-depth overview of your business, its operations and projected growth. Afterwards, we’ll plan for a wide range of contingencies to ensure your data is safe and secure and downtime is minimised during the switch.

As an accredited and London-based Microsoft Partner, you can be confident our highly experienced and expert team will deliver best-practice support, installation and commissioning of Windows 10 and your new technology, all to the agreed budget and deadline.